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Menopause and metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease.

Maturitas 2024 August
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, recently proposed to be renamed metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease, is a highly prevalent disease (25-30 % of the global general population) whose prevalence increases after menopause. Apart from the rates of simple steatosis, the severity of the disease (e.g., hepatic fibrosis) increases after menopause. Menopause is associated with higher abdominal adiposity and dysmetabolism of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, which may contribute to the development and severity of metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease and the higher cardiovascular risk observed after menopause. The association between menopause and metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease renders menopausal hormone therapy an appealing way to reverse hepatic disease in parallel with the benefits of menopausal hormone therapy in other tissues. In this regard, most animal studies have shown a beneficial effect of estrogens on metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease. Still, clinical studies are few, and their data are conflicting. The effect of menopausal hormone therapy on metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease may be distinct among estrogen monotherapies and the combinations of estrogens and progestogens. It may also depend on the type of progestogen and the route of administration. However, more studies specifically designed for these aims are needed to draw secure conclusions. This review summarizes the data related to the association between menopause and metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease, as well as between menopausal hormone therapy and metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease, with a special focus on clinical studies.

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